Iron Man 2
Overall, it was a really fun movie, and it got me in the mood for the upcoming summer movie season. It wasn't quite as good as the first Iron Man, but it's still enjoyable if you liked the first one.
Perhaps there were too many new characters added which kind of dragged the story along, it did feel much more clunky than the first one. But despite that, Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, and Garry Shandling were all really good in their new roles (I'm not quite sure why Don Cheadle replaced Terrance Howard, though...?). The action scenes were also kind of short and not that satisfying in the end. Especially the final action sequence, it just seemed crammed in there.
But this movie was surprisingly hilarious. And not in an unintentional kind of way, it was a very funny script for a comic book movie. I just feel like maybe this sequel didn't live up to the "improved greatness" of the 2nd film of the series that Spider-Man 2, The Dark Knight, and X-Men 2 did for their series.
I still liked it a lot, and hope if they make a third one they will finally achieve something really great. I'm getting excited for The Avengers, too!
[Scott Roberts] "(I'm not quite sure why Don Cheadle replaced Terrance Howard, though...?"
From his interview in Screen Crave:
Why are you no longer continuing with Iron Man? What happened with that?
At least that's how I read it, right? GP and Sam got raises and Terrence didn't...or didn't get enough of one...and so he jumped. Or was pushed out because he leaned too hard in negotiations. It's not clear from him, and nobody else has commented, so there you go.
Funny dynamic re: first and second movies in this wave of reboots - I felt like the first Batman and Spidey reboots were so weak that the second HAD to be better...and the first Iron Man, my all-time favorite movie from a comic book, was so perfect that there's no way that the second COULD be better. Not that I've seen it yet, so this is just my working theory....
But your review rings true. Overstuffing is what I felt killed the Tim Burton-era Batmans, and actually came close to sinking the second Christian Bale picture - Heath Ledger's Joker, even better than advertised. was more than enough villain for any movie. Harvey Dent/Two-Face could definitely have waited.
I was never a big comics fan, but one thing that they had going for them was lean stories. Even at graphic novel size (I LOVED the Frank Miller Batman graphic novels), they're far less cluttered than the movies. Definitely a lesson worth learning....
Saw it, loved it. Mickey Roarke was awesome. Genndy Tartakovsky, (“Samurai Jack”) who did such fine work animating the 2-d version version of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars”, designed a lot of the effects sequences, and they are very dynamic and kinetic. Though of course you know who has to win in the end, so that’s hard to make exciting. Great effects work, good, fast-paced story-telling, fine performance by Sam Rockwell as Tony’s rival. Lots of little jokes stuck in here and there, even during the serious bits. The writers had a lot of fun. Movie was a good fit with the first one.
I.M. is the only comic book I have really stayed with, been following it since about the second or third year it was published. I don’t collect it in a serious way, I may haphazardly save a copy here and there of an issue I particularly liked, but I don’t have file cabinets full of issues in plastic baggies or anything. It’s just one of my little casual pleasures.
Anyway… As a long time fan of the book, I notice a lot of differences in the background, plot arc, and story and characters made for the adaptation to the big screen, but overall, I have to say, they still did a good job of retaining much of the flavor and style, even if they have shuffled some of the parts and the cannon around. Downey Jr.’s performance is what holds it all together and takes it to the next level. BTW, Scarlett Johansen as Black Widow is magnetic every moment she’s on screen, and especially so in her combat scenes, hot, hot HOT. Literally the comic character sprung to life, very convincing.
One thing I found puzzling; there’s a five-second scene in the promos that’s NOT in the movie. In the promos, Tony Stark is about to jump out of a transport plane in his Armor, but hasn’t put on his helmet yet; he’s holding it in his hands in front of him. He tries to use the drama of what we assume to be a dangerous imminent combat mission (we find it is not, it is only a dramatic stunt-like entrance to a TED-like trade expo opening night, basically a marketing ploy for Stark Industries) to wheedle a kiss for luck out of his Assistant Pepper Potts, who makes as if to comply, then coyly kisses the front of his helmet faceplate instead, then she chucks it out the open rear cargo hatch of the plane, saying “go get it!”. Forcing Tony to drop his attempted sexual harassment of his employee and immediately leap out of the plane to retrieve the helmet and put it on in free-fall on the way to the ground. Kind of reminiscent of fighting for the parachute in Point Break or one of the Bond movies. He leaps out after it in the most casual way, backwards, playfully yelling back to her as he falls out the of the plane, “you complete me!” while quite possibly falling to his doom. End scene. The whole implication in that five seconds is that their budding romantic relationship has built up an incredible amount of trust in a short time and that she’s starting to take on more of Tony’s daredevil risk-taking nonchalance. That scene is totally gone from the cut I watched in the theater. Maybe because it was pretty much against Pepper’s established character. Pepper is the Wendy to Tony Stark’s Peter Pan, after all, and can’t be as reckless; her job is like being an Astronaut’s wife/mom... In the comics, she was Happy Hogan’s girl (Happy was an ex-boxer and bodyguard/driver for Stark) and eventually Hogan’s wife, and for many years, while they had some sexual attraction/tension come and go between them between them relationship-wise, it was always unrequited, until very recently, just one time, in a re-write of the comic just this year. The movie seems to keep pushing them together to be moer of a romantic couple, but this may be a problem as they continue these films because Stark can’t be the “playa” he’s always been with random ladies and still keep that relationship level with Pepper. It just wouldn’t be realistic of the character for Pepper to allow it. She’s not French or Italian, after all.:-) The dynamic between Stark and Pepper has always been one of firneds and work partners that are in many ways closer than an actual married couple could be. I'd like to see that maintained, myself, because it's rarer and thus more interesting that men and women can be friends like like that and keep the bedroom out of it.
That’s a lot of thinking about one five-second scene that wasn’t even in the final film. That’s a fanboi for you:-)
Howard was greedy, is what I read. He was essentially asking to be paid more than the leads, and thought he couldn't be replaced. I have to say that between them, Cheadle pwns Howard in every way, and I didn't miss Howard after about ten seconds. Howard's probably sitting on a couch with Kirstie Allie, wondering what life might have been like had he not made that choice.
A Gwyneth Paltrow romantic element is probably just too mouthwatering for the film studio to not try and include. It wins over (sorry for generalizing and/or stereotyping) a largely female audience that doesn't automatically just go see the movie because "WOOO-HOOO!!! IRON MAN RULES!!!!!".
Well, studios are not risk-takers; they will skip trying to present a complicated and nuanced platonic relationship to go with something much simpler, more direct, and more familiar, pretty much every time.
And yet, if you watch all the times this gets presented; Cheers, Moonlighting, The Office come to mind, the show definitely loses some steam once the two characters "do it". It is that thrill of the chase and the uncertainty about success that adds the spice. As in adolescence, following thru on all that lead-in and figurative foreplay, as it were, is almost always an anticlimax.
[Scott Roberts] "A Gwyneth Paltrow romantic element is probably just too mouthwatering for the film studio to not try and include"
Even more true overseas, where the film is billed as CO-STARRING Robert and Gwyneth.
(Trivia: my wife and I sat directly behind Gwyneth's parents, Blythe Danner and the late Bruce Paltrow, at a stunning performance of "Proof" on Broadway, with Mary-Louise Parker....in the role played by Gwyneth on film. I feel somehow responsible.)
There is clearly money in this co-billed approach. Overseas sales for #2 have equaled the entire run of #1 in just 12 days.
(The picture opened there a week early, because the World Cup is starting soon, and always dramatically reduces audiences for action movies. Why not? The action IN THE STANDS is more violent than many of those movies.)
[Mark Suszko] "there’s a five-second scene in the promos that’s NOT in the movie."
Anyway, I'm still bummed about that. That's my favorite scene in the trailer!
This kind of thing happens fairly regularly, because the trailer gets cut before the final picture is locked. Sometimes even MORE basic stuff isn't locked - VFX, grading, even ADR. Remember the trailer for Star Wars Episode 1? (The crappy one, not the REAL Ep. 1, which turned out to be Ep. 4.) The line from what's her name doing that what's her name character in front of the senate or whatever? It was so outrageously bad that they wound up re-cutting the trailer with the locked ADR!
I haven't seen the movie, but I'm told that there's hardly a scene in the trailer for National Treasure 2 that actually made the release.....
Is this the one where Jason Bateman finds out that he is also an iron man, AKA "Iron Man Too"
I toyed with the idea of seeing this over the weekend. but then, while walking around Target and seeing all the actual toys from the movie, I decided against it. Action figures are generally geared towards kids 6-11, yet oddly the film is PG-13. But this leads us into the inevitable conversation about parents letting their kids watch anything they want.
DVD it is.
Well, I hope that you have a large flatscreen and 5.1 dolby, this is one of those movies I bothered going to the big screen experience for.
Not only do I have a flat screen tv, I watch it with binoculars!
It was a decent film. Action scenes were great, and the character interaction was yet again brilliant. I just wish I hadn't watched Kick-@$$ the week before, because Kick-@$$ was just so much more fun.
And then I finally watched Sherlock Holmes a week after, which was an inferior film to me, but was still more fun. So Iron Man 2 fails in that department. (Iron Man 2 released on April 30 internationally, btw).
I think it was a continuity issue. Wasn't she already at the bottom when he landed?